I met my Dutch boyfriend while studying abroad, and I knew instantly I had met my life partner. But for others who don’t seem to have fate on their side but still want to land one of those famously tall, handsome, and low maintenance — if not the most romantic — Dutch men, there’s a few things you need to know before you pack up and move to the Netherlands. Here are a few particular commandments I had to stick to in order to snag my Dutch guy.
1. Thou shalt share the bitterballen… and the bill.
The Dutch are into two things: fried food and gender equality! In the Netherlands, both halves of the couple pay for evenings out. So when you share your plate of fried ragout, be prepared to shell out a few euros — they call it “going Dutch” for a reason.
2. Thou shalt take only five minutes to get ready.
Don’t worry, you don’t have to get all dolled up with crazy contouring to go out in the Netherlands. In fact, you shouldn’t. Dutch guys fancy natural skin, hair that’s all over the place, and comfortable clothes. If you look less put-together than he does before going out, then you’re ready.
3. Thou shalt share the household chores.
Remember that gender equality thing? This also extends to household chores. The utilities and everyday tasks are usually divided 50/50. But there is one caveat…
4. But thou shalt do the cooking.
Dutch men will certainly cook. However, the Dutch have a “holy trinity” when it comes to food: potato, vegetable, and meat. And they prefer to eat it all mashed together into a dish called Stamppot. If this is not up your alley and you prefer some creativity in your food preparation, then you should probably just do the cooking yourself.
5. Thou shalt stay in for date night, but only when it’s raining.
And it’s raining all the time! But that’s okay because Dutch guys like super gezellig evenings in with a box set and PJs. Don’t get too comfortable, though. On the five days a year when it’s not raining, he will probably ask you to do something sporty with him like biking through the dunes or hiking through a nearby forest.
6. Thou shalt not come between a Dutch guy and his money.
He will not buy you that Louis Vuitton bag… Just, forget it.
7. Thou shalt be comfortable with sunny travel destinations for vacation.
There is one exception to the last commandment, and that is when he splurges on travel. The Dutch may not be into fancy cars, but they are into traveling and thinking outside the box about new destinations. Maybe it’s to make up for the lack of sun in their home country, but be expected to journey with him to sun-filled places like Indonesia, South Africa, and Curaçao on a semi-regular basis.
8. Thou shalt wear orange when appropriate.
The biggest holidays in the Netherlands are celebrated by wearing the color orange. This happens once a year on King’s Day, but public holiday status is also declared if the Dutch football team wins a game in the World Cup. On these days, you should dress like a Cheeto, drink beer out of a plastic cup, and dance to old Dutch music with your guy and all his orange-clad friends.
9. Thou shalt not expect a speedy proposal.
This may be a shocker if people in your country tend to get married before age 30, but in general the Dutch tend to want to marry later in life and often wait until they have a house and at least one kid together before proposing.